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New biomaterial could improve bone grafting

by Feb. 26, 2019, 4:09 PM

A new biomaterial-based bone graft extender created by Vanderbilt and U.S. Army researchers has the potential to improve treatment of critical orthopedic conditions.

While a graft using a patient’s own bone  – typically from the pelvis or femur – for re-implantation is considered the standard technique to repair, replace or regenerate bone tissue, limitations exist.

A common practice is to combine autologous (harvested from the patient’s body) bone with synthetic bone substitutes such as ceramics and polymers that maximize the properties of the human graft while minimizing the amount of it needed to support the reconstruction.

In Tissue Engineering, researchers report the first use of PTKUR (polythioketal urethane) as an autologous graft extender with bone-like strength and handling properties comparable to ceramic bone cements. More important, PTKUR enabled about a 50 percent reduction of autograft material without significantly compromising bone healing.